Monday, 19 July 2021

. . . It's a sweet trip to a Candy Shop . . .


Dearest Jazz Lovers,

hoping this update on intentions, proceedings and planning finds you in good health and gagging for a nice bit of jazz.

Thank you for your unanimously positive responses to the Mail list circular in May - we are most emboldened by your "general" outlook regarding our proposals, which we have been developing as fast as possible since the last mailshot.

So where are we? 

Everything below is contingent on two "ruling" influences :-

a) the law as it might twist & turn in response to the R rate, hospital admissions and actual case rates

b) regardless of what the above might "permit", with the Chairperson of the BLC committee working for the NHS at Saltaire better informing the general view of the JATPjazz committee, we feel we must reserve the right to suspend gigs at short notice regardless of any guidelines or regulations the government might apply in response to the pandemic and variants. In essence we have no intention of putting our own heads in the Lion's mouth and assure you we value your heads equally.

It is our intention to provide a safe and welcoming environment for the performance of great jazz and we will do our best to ensure that so far as is practical. We have neither the intention or the numbers to "police" our intentions. We rely on the cooperation of you, our lovely gig-goers. There will be no chastisement for measures-related indiscretions - well after all, it is "jazz" ?? If anyone is uncomfortable with any particular aspect or someone's grossly unreasonable behaviour at a gig, please advise one of the committee and we will address that situation. We hope to avoid the need for any heavy-handedness.

We plan to recommence gigs on 3rd September. Gigs will be notified by email to our mailing list subscribers, on our blogspot and via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media platforms plus the Bradford Big Screen in City Park. There will be no printed brochures until "life" returns to some predictability - not ideal, but practical and will at least assist in maintaining social-distancing at gigs.

Whilst we cannot enforce mask wearing when not seated within the club, we do / will strongly encourage them as far as the audience is concerned. We do not plan on applying this to the bands when on stage, especially the wind instrumentalists. 

With the exception of no table service (see below), we will be encouraging social-distancing measures, largely as they stand pre-19th July 2021, until we believe the general covid19 situation has improved sufficiently to warrant their relaxation.

There will be a sanitisation point on entry and one in the bar. Tables will be sanitised on arrival and re-sanitised if they "change family/social bubble hands" during the gig and on request according to the stage of proceedings.

As matters stand, at that time Table Service will not be mandatory which is just as well since BLC have lost most of their younger staff and are presently short of numbers, so we hope you will bear with both Parties until demand at the club returns to a point where an increase in staff numbers is possible and practical. Of course, this fact and social distancing will necessitate "orderly queues" in the bar. Whilst we are on that subject, BLC are in the process of procuring credit card machines, as indeed are we, so card payments will finally become a possibility. Cash - as was ever thus - is also welcome, correct change, even better 👀😂 

One of our faithful of many years has experience in similar situations of setting up a BACS system. We plan to "zoom" in the coming weeks to explore this a bit further. I have tested (without the actual transfer of money, I am immensely glad to advise) the bare-bones system and it appears to work a treat from all three sides, so we hope to have this payment option sorted out by mid-August when we will further advise availability and access routes.

Owing to it's effect on club financial "models", we do not plan on using a ticketing service and having ticket-only gigs. It is our feeling that news of JATP gigs wafts the social airwaves of Bradford by means beyond the managed outlets and thereby those intending to attend may have no knowledge of such a requirement. We have revised our stance on pre-notification for similar reasons. Whilst we would prefer emailed pre-notification of attendance, so that we might be better able to control numbers and ensure social distancing is easier to maintain, it will not be mandatory. We do believe that those who pre-notify should have priority in the event that we exceed the social-distancing depleted capacity. Non-pre-notified attendees will be asked to take a seat in the bar until all pre-notified attendees are seated whereupon available seats will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis until the reduced capacity is met and social distancing can be maintained - (detailed plans still being formulated / finalised).

An adjoiner to the above is that if case, hospital admissions and mortality rates start to come down as we approach Sept 03, then we will operate gigs as normal.

We suspended operations following Sam Leak's gig in March 2020. Since that time Patrons, in an unbelievably generous show of solidarity, have generously continued to support the club financially, as if nothing had happened. Not generally one to be lost for a whole host of words (often too many I freely admit), I am struggling to fully express the Committee's gratitude. You people are the salt of the Earth, bastions of rich culture in an increasingly culturally-challenged world - Thank You all from the bottom of our hearts!

Likewise we recognise that Members also have not had their monies worth. It is more difficult to correlate unreconciled Membership payments to periods of suspension of operations since we have no fixed Membership calendar, they being 12 months from the date of initially coughing-up which can be from any month when Membership was taken-up. Accordingly, we believe we should consider that all current memberships become renewable from September 2022. Likewise with Patronage unless people feel otherwise of course - it is Yorkshire after all. Broadly then, including the outcome of the pre-heralded ticket price review, our intentions are as follows :-

  • Suspend membership recruitment until September 2022 subject to stabilisation of any pandemic regulations or guidelines
  • Existing Members and Patrons to remain on pre-September 2021 ticket prices (or such other personally agreed arrangements) until September 2022 subject as above. In this way we honour our respective arrangements and cover the period where the facility to enjoy the benefits of those agreements has been denied.
  • Regular ticket price from September 2021 to be £10.
  • Member rates from September 2022 to be £7 with the Annual Membership subscription remaining at £12
  • We will ask patrons, from September 2022, to contribute as a minimum the revised membership costs referred to above. Of course any additional support would be most gratefully received, although we appreciate these are uncertain financial times and this is absolutely a matter for individual discretion.

We seek to assure you that in increasing prices, we are not jumping on the apparent post-Covid ”bandwagon” of inexorable and often unjustifiable price increases. The reason is simply because we have only increased Musicians rates once in 21 years and by a princely £10 – per head! We are now paying significantly below Musicians Union recommended rates, Musicians have had a particularly horrendous time during lockdown with many unable to get Government support for all manner of limp reasons and it has broken my heart to see Faecesbook-befriended musicians selling their beloved instruments on-line, often worth way in excess of the asking price, in order to keep body and soul together. Everytime I “cough-up” to bands at the end of a gig, I am contrite over the meagre amount we pay compared to the glories we have received so we feel we must at least attempt to redress this imbalance. Of course we hope this approach to reality does not lead to audience loss but appreciate we’ve all had it tough.

We are in the process of sorting bands (mainly local favourites) out for this exploratory run of gigs up until Christmas 2021. If they progress well and pandemic management is yielding success, we will look to book bands to continue the programme into 2022.

Given the uncertainty about 'lockdown easement' and the caveats up top, we are suspending Jazz Extras until September 2022 and also considering their value in the intervening period, analysing Jazz Extra attendance levels over years etc

As ever, we welcome and value your views

Take Care and fingers crossed for a joyous, socially-distant reunion in September

 Your JATPjazz Committee

PS! - within 24 hours of reaching out to Musicians & much Promoter confusion at the pace of events we instantly have the pilot season booked-up. Provisionally planning into 2022

03 Sep - Ben Crosland Qrt

01 Oct - Caroline Boaden Qrt

05 Nov -  💣 Guy Fawkes' Burn The House Down Band 💣. . . well close . . . ORB (Ormrod-Rosser-Baxter) Fireworks provided by Musicians, please don't bring your own.

03 Dec - Emily Brown Quintet 

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